To the editor:
Letter to the Editor:
Leo Wolfson’s recent article entitled, “Convicted Jan. 6 Participant Says Wyoming Counties Must Refuse to OK Bogus Elections”, got my attention. The Campbell County GOP picked January 6th, the date of the greatest internal threat to our democracy, by having as its headliner someone who thought it was an act of patriotism.
The Campbell County Republicans invited Couy Griffin to speak at its fundraiser; a person convicted of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during the January 6th insurrection, and who was then removed from office as County Commissioner in New Mexico pursuant to the Insurrection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
An outspoken foot soldier for Trump, Griffin advanced false statements that echo those made by others and promoted by the former President’s rants.
Among the debunked claims he shared at the fundraiser were that January 6 was an example of heroic American patriotism and Griffin painted his involvement as “an act of sacrifice for his county”. He branded the FBI as a discredited organization that wanted January 6 to be an insurrection all along.
Griffin even offered his opinion that the Postal Service’s proposal to mail processing from Cheyenne to Denver as how this move would affect election mail in Wyoming, and he was quoted as saying, “Any opportunities they have to cheat, better bet your boots they will.”
In spite of his involvement, or perhaps because of it, he drew a large crowd at this fundraiser along with legislators from Campbell County and legislators from other counties as well as the vice-chair of the Wyoming GOP.
While Wyoming is a deep-red state, one that has given overwhelming support to Trump in the past, and probably will do again in 2024, the appearance of an out-of-state spokesman like Griffin amounts to nothing more than feeding red meat to the true believers. At the same time, it is blatant effort to undermine and cast doubt on our electoral system.
During the sentencing of one of the January 6th rioters, the prosecutor said, “He should not be able to use his own notoriety gained in the commission of his crimes to ‘capitalize’ on his participation in the Capitol breach in this way.”
Yet, this is exactly what the Campbell County GOP did by inviting Griffin to come to Wyoming in order to spin the insurrection on January 6th as an act of patriotism. Patriotism is a devotion to and vigorous support for one's country.
That is certainly not what happened on that infamous day three years ago. Rather, it was the product of one person’s delusional belief that the election was stolen and that an attack on the US Capitol was the only way to correct it.
Many long-standing and faithful Republicans in Campbell County and elsewhere must be sickened by what they see happening to their party by activists who have largely taken over the political machinery of the GOP in Wyoming, which has drifted from the principles of the once Grand Old Party.
My greatest fear is that giving a platform to Griffin and his ilk could lead to more violence and further erode public confidence in the integrity of our elections, which forms the bedrock of our democracy.
Rex Arney, Sheridan